LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After months of planning and input, renderings are now being presented for the new Lufkin Middle School, Lufkin gym and the complex for baseball and softball.
The renderings presented in a school board workshop on Tuesday. The projects being paid for by a $75 million bond voted on last May.
The drawings shown to the board by architect firm Goodwin-Lassiter -Strong were down after getting input from staff all over the district.
The current plan for the middle school has buildings encompassing 308,000 square feet which is about 12,000 more square feet then what was expected. Superintendent Lynn Torres believes some minor changes to a few areas will bring the plan back on scale. The school will use some of the existing school and incorporate it into a more modern look. The biggest change will be the front of the school will be flipped around to an entrance off of Tulane Drive. Another new item at the school is an outdoor pavilion area. The original gym on campus was set to be demolished but the architects believes the walls could be demolished and the support beams and roof stay to make a covered area that could be used for various activities. On top of new classrooms and labs, the school will have a new competition gym that will host boys locker rooms as well as a practice gym and weight room. Panther Gym, which is used by the High School will become the main gym at the high school and will be used for locker room space for girls athletics and P.E.
On the athletic side, changes are coming to the high school. The circle drive around Abe Martin Drive will be no more with the addition of a new multi-purpose gym. The gym will go behind the scoreboard at Abe Martin Stadium. In fact, the building will be just 8 feet behind the scoreboard at Abe Martin. The gym will be two levels with the concourse area being at the top. It is a similar design compared to Shands gym at Angelina College or the coliseum at SFA. There will also be a practice gym that has seating as well. The gym will seat just under 2,100.
Behind the gym will be the softball and baseaball complex. A new field house will be built that will have locker rooms for softball and baseball as well as coaching offices and a conference room. The field house will also have restrooms for fans as well as two separate concession stands.
New parking will be added that will provide around 300 new spaces. A new filed house will be built for tennis and two new courts will also be added.
Because of the massive undertaking that the middle school will be, the district will first break ground on the basketball gym in June. Soon after that they will begin on baseball and softball. The district hopes to have all plans for the middle school finalized by November and break ground right before the Christmas break of the 2019-20 school year. The middle school is set for a 3-year time table.